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Gatlinburg, Tennessee is the ultimate family vacation destination! Our Smoky Mountain city is overflowing with awesome attractions that are fun for adults and children of all ages. With so many incredible things to see and do in town, narrowing down the itinerary for your getaway can be a little overwhelming. To help you make the most of your trip, Timber Tops Cabin Rentals has put together a guide to the top seven family activities in Gatlinburg TN.
1. Breakfast at the Pancake Pantry
Starting your day at the Pancake Pantry is a Gatlinburg tradition! This iconic breakfast restaurant was the very first pancake house to ever open in the state of Tennessee. Guests at the Pantry will find an extensive selection of unique flapjack creations, including Wild Blueberry Pancakes, Sweet Potato Pancakes, Swiss Chocolate Chip Pancakes, and Orange-Walnut Pancakes. The Pantry also boasts an excellent kids menu filled with child-friendly favorites like M&M Pancakes and Bears in the Snow (bear-shaped hotcakes covered in powdered sugar). Please note that the Pancake Pantry is a cash-only business.
2. See the Sea Creatures at Ripley’s Aquarium
Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies is a can’t-miss stop for any family getaway in Gatlinburg. Voted the best aquarium in America by the readers of USA Today, Ripley’s is famous for its hands-on exhibits. Guests can tour the aquarium’s notorious Shark Lagoon by standing on a moving sidewalk that glides through an underwater tunnel or by taking a thrilling glass bottom boat ride. Other highlights of Ripley’s Aquarium include the Penguin Playhouse, which features transparent tubes that kids can crawl through, and Touch A Ray Bay, where guests can pet a real live stingray.
3. Play Putt-Putt at Hillbilly Golf
Located on top of a mountain, Hillbilly Golf is not your average putt-putt course! This unusual mini golf attraction features fun Appalachian-themed obstacles and decorations, including moonshine stills, outhouses, tractors, and farm equipment. In order to reach the first hole, guests take an awesome tram ride that climbs roughly 300 feet up the hillside. Hillbilly Golf is open each year from March through mid-December.
4. Save the Day at Gatlin’s Escape Games
Playing one of Gatlin’s Escape Games is another one of the best family activities in Gatlinburg TN. When you sign up for one of these unique games, your family will be “locked” in a room and given 60 minutes to escape by finding clues, solving puzzles, and completing missions. Gatlin’s currently offers two themed adventures: the Legend of Atlantis and Big Maw Bertha’s Fussin’ Feudin’ Moonshine Hill Hootenanny. Regardless of which game you choose, your family will have a blast working together to beat the clock.
5. Enjoy Food and Fun at Fannie Farkle’s
Fannie Farkle’s is Gatlinburg’s most popular arcade. Perfect for a rainy day, Fannie Farkle’s features all of your favorite games, including claw machines, the Wizard of Oz, skee ball, Down the Clown, and Wheel of Fortune. In addition to the great games, Fannie Farkle’s offers mouthwatering country fair-style food. Their footlong corn dogs are the stuff of legends!
6. Explore Anakeesta
Anakeesta is Gatlinburg’s newest and most-buzzed-about destination. Situated on top of a mountain, this incredible attraction is only accessible via a chairlift or gondola ride that leaves from The Strip. Once you arrive at Anakeesta, you’ll have the chance to explore a Tree Canopy Walk, mine for gems, ride ziplines, go shopping at Firefly Village, or pick up a sweet treat from Pearl’s Pie in the Sky. Please note that Anakeesta changes its hours with each season.
7. Visit the Gatlinburg Space Needle
The Gatlinburg Space Needle is one of the most recognizable landmarks in the Smokies. Standing at 407 feet tall, this beautiful observation tower offers gorgeous views of the downtown area and the mountains. Your family will love riding the glass elevator to the top of the tower and taking in the majestic 360-degree vistas.
Where to Stay in Gatlinburg
When you stay with Timber Tops Cabin Rentals, you will be just a short drive from all of these wonderful family activities in Gatlinburg TN. With everything from 1 bedroom cabins to 15 bedroom lodges, we are guaranteed to have the perfect accommodations for your vacation. To start planning your escape, browse our selection of cabins in Gatlinburg!